"For an island-dwelling people, Sardinians traditionally use surprisingly little seafood, as they were primarily shepherds and farmers living inland, away from the coast," explains Giovanni Pilu. "As such, Sardinian dishes often feature sheep, goat or pork meat. Malloredus, (also called gnocchetti Sardi) a sort of shell-shaped pasta coloured with saffron, is a classic Sardinian pasta. In this dish, malloredus is combined with a sauce that originated in the Campidano region, around the capital Cagliari."
- 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
- 1 small onion
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 500 gm gnochetti Sardi (malloredus)
- 250 gm Italian sausages, skins removed
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 400 gm tinned tomatoes
- 5 saffron threads
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 5 basil leaves
- To serve: finely grated Pecorino
- 1Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes or until soft, add sausage meat and cook, breaking up with the back of a spoon, for 10 minutes.
- 2Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then add tomatoes, saffron and herbs. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt. Sauce should be thick.
- 3Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and stir through sauce. Serve with grated Pecorino.
Note Sauce will keep, refrigerated for up to 5 days.